University of Nebraska: Active Collaborations for Innovative Development
Through consistently offering excellence in teaching and research to its 25,000 students, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) has been ranked in the “Top 50 Public Universities” in U.S. News & World Report for the past 12 years.
Collaboration is Key
“Our mission,” explained Senior Advisor to the Chancellor for International Affairs, Thomas Farrell, “is collaborative work with institutions committed to progressive national development. We want to work together on common challenges—from early childhood education to food security to higher education.”
This focus has led to a long history of relationships in Latin America.
UNL has worked with Colombian universities on research collaborations and student recruitment since the 1960s. More recent collaborations in research include institutions in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, which all send a substantial number of students to UNL; research partnerships are also ongoing in Costa Rica and Guatemala.
In Brazil, PUC Rio Grande do Sul is exploring an exchange program with the UNL’s Intensive English Program, as is UFRGS in Porto Alegre. UNL students have gone on exchange programs to PUC Rio.
English Language Programs
The Programs in English as a Second Language (PIESL) offers diverse services to international students. The Intensive English Program (IEP) is targeted for language learners seeking core competence in English. IEP students experience English courses in an academic setting designed to prepare them for the classroom experience and curriculum they will encounter as part of their degree study. Students enrolling in UNL use the Credit English for Academic Purposes as a Bridge program to prepare for their degree program studies. Once admitted to UNL, students can access for-credit language and study support classes, as well as wraparound support services through PIESL.
Funding for International Students
UNL is one of the few institutions to offer scholarships for international students. Beyond the already affordable tuition, all international undergraduate students admitted to UNL are evaluated for merit-based scholarships, making education accessible to a greater range of students.
Visionary Cross-Discipline Research
Scholars at UNL know critical global issues are not single-discipline problems with single-perspective solutions. Interdepartmental collaborations address the nexus of issues relevant in the United States and worldwide. The Center for Energy Sciences Research focuses on interrelated studies in energy, agriculture, and water, while the Nutrition Education Program, weaves together programs in health, agriculture, and nutrition.
“We have found that you can’t take the agriculture and water quality issues out of health and nutrition considerations,” said Mr. Farrell. “This is a leading question for our scholars. As we look internationally, we want to collaborate with Latin American leadership to consider these issues with childhood development. We are a leader in researching how water quality impacts child brain development.”
In addition, UNL’s Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experience (UCARE) program, which allows undergraduate students the opportunity to work one-on-one with faculty to contribute to solving global issues through research, was ranked as one of the top 28 undergraduate research programs in the United States.
Nurturing Well-rounded Business Leaders
These cross-disciplinary efforts extend to training for the business world. Responding to the workforce demand for people with broad experiences, UNL developed The Jeffrey S. Raikes School for Computer Science and Management specifically focusing on business, computer science, and entrepreneurial development.
In 2014, a UNL student from Brazil in the Computer Science and Management program was named one of just 36 Generation Google Scholars from across the nation, earning a USD $10,000 scholarship and the opportunity to participate in a retreat at the “Googleplex.”
Vibrant Student Life
UNL students enjoy the thriving athletic scene, as well as the diversity of student programs, clubs, and activities. Lincoln is a friendly Midwestern community with growing attractions for young people. Many restaurants, amenities, and nightlife of downtown are a short stroll from the UNL campus. In 2012, Lincoln was rated the “#1 US City for Quality of Life” by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.
Juliana de Oliveira Hello, an agronomy major described her experience: “The experiences I had during my exchange were far beyond my expectations. At UNL, I expanded my horizon of possibilities with the support of teachers, researchers and collaborators in various activities. The courses I’m taking will help enormously in my education, as well as the cultural programs promoted by UNL. Both the courses and programming at UNL push students toward knowledge, unique experiences, and social living. I got to know not only Nebraska, but also people from the all over the world; here I am living a different culture filled of new things and people who made me feel at home. UNL is, to me, far more than a university, it is family and my second home. I am very proud to have taken the opportunity to come here, and I will take the name of the university forever in my heart and to the world. Thank you, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.”